Saturday, February 27, 2010

Holi Special-- Mawa filled Gujiya!



GUJIYA is a special sweet made and eaten during HOLI in North India. In Mumbai, people make these during Diwali. It's also called Karanji.These are the flour dumplings stuffed with Khoya/Khoa(Mawa), shredded Coconut, Dry Fruits and Sugar.

I made these last year too, without a mould and it took me longer to make them. Also they were a little hard, I guess probably coz I kneaded the dought with water or rolled out a thicker puri. This time these came out PERFECT!! I had moulds too this time and they helped in getting the same size and shape for all of these. These are delicious and we can't stop eating them.

Here is the recipe for you. (Click here for printable recipe) 

FOR THE DOUGH
All Purpose flour (Maida)- 1 ¾ th cups
Ghee- 1/4th Cup
Milk- 1/2 Cup

FOR FILLING
Mawa (khoya), grated- 2 cups
Shredded coconut- 1/3rd Cup
Almonds, blanched and chopped- 1/4th Cup
Raisins, wash and wiped- About 20
Sugar- 1 1/4th Cup
Oil- To fry Gujias

METHOD
1. For preparing the covering, sieve flour and rub in 1/4th cup of Ghee.
2. Add cold milk and knead into dough. (Not too soft, like we do for poori’s)
3. Cover it with a moist cloth and keep aside.
4. Roast Khoya on a medium heat for about 5 minutes. Just until it leaves its ghee and changes the color a little. (Keep stirring else it will burn)
5. Turn off the gas and add shredded coconut, almonds, raisins, green cardamom powder to khoya and mix well.
6. Leave it for about 5 minutes.
7. Once it cools a little, Add sugar and mix properly.
8. With oiled hands divide dough into small balls.
9. Grease the gujia mould. Roll out dough balls into small puris, put it on the mould and press lightly. Place the stuffing in the hollow portion. Apply a little water on the edges, close mould and press firmly. Open mould and remove extra dough. Keep gujias covered with a damp cloth.(Damp cloth doesn't let gujiya's dry)
10. Similarly use up all the dough and stuffing.
11. If you do not have a mould, gujias can still be made. Roll out puris in round shapes, place stuffing on one half, lightly dampen edges and fold the other half over the stuffing and press edges firmly using a fork.
12. Heat sufficient oil in a kadai and deep fry gujias on medium heat till golden brown. ( The way you check the right temperate of oil is that when you put the Gujiya in the oil, it should sizzle immediately but takes a few seconds before it comes on the top and floats).

Let it cool slightly before serving, as the stuffing inside may be very hot.
Enjoy!! HAPPY HOLI


Thursday, February 25, 2010

Moong Daal ke Ladoo ki Chaat


Feeling nostalgic writing this post. If you are from Delhi, I am sure you can relate to this feeling. Back in India, In winters specially, street hawkers would come selling this warm delicious moong daal ke ladoo with Mooli (Shredded radish called DAIKON too) and loads of spicy green chutney...yummmyyyy! Hawkers sell this by the name "Ram Ladoo", dont know why; and we used to call these "Gulgule"; again dont know why :)

Today after a long long time I ate these; not only ate, but made tooo....loved it! These are very simple and easy to make. (Click here for printable recipe)

Ingredients:
1. Yellow Moong Daal (Washed & Soaked in water for atleast 6 hours or overnight)
2. Salt- To taste
3. Red Chilli Powder-To taste
4. Shredded Radish/Daikon- 1 Cup
5. Green Chutney- Depends how much you want
6. Oil- To fry ladoo

Method:
1. Grind the dal to a rough paste in a mixer grinder, using very little water, only if required.
    Do not make it into a smooth past
2. Beat ground dal in a bowl using whisker for 5-7 minutes till it feels really light and frothy of a soft dropping
   consistency, Add salt and red chilli powder. Mix well.
3. Heat oil in a Kadhai/pan for deep frying. To test if oil is hot enough, drop a little paste into the kadhai.
    It should rise to the surface almost immediately
4. Using round spoon drop small amounts of paste into oil. Reduce heat to medium.
5. Fry till golden yellow. Drain excess oil on paper napkins.
6. Serve loaded with grated Mooli (Grated Radish) and Spicy Green chutney.

(Aloo Faliyan ) Green Beans and Potato Sabzi

 I love both french and string green beans. Beans are a good source of Vitamin A and C and are easily available in the grocery stores. Beans are made various different ways like Steamed, boiled, Stir-Fried.

This dry sabzi of Green Beans and Potato is Stir-fried with lots of spices and made within minutes. It is simple yet delicious and healthy. This goes very well with hot chapattis and some Raita on the side.

Here is the recipe (Click here for printable recipe)

Ingredients:
2 Cups- Green Beans (Washed, and Chopped)
1 and 1/2 Cup- Potato (Peeled, Washed and Chopped)
3 Tbsp- Oil
1 tsp- Ginger (Finely Chopped or paste)
2 Green Chillies (Chopped)
1 Tsp- Cumin Seeds
1 Tsp -Turmeric Powder
1/2 Tsp- Garam Masala
1 Tsp- Coriander Powder
Salt and Red Chilli Powder - TO TASTE

Method:
1. Heat oil in a pan. Add Cumin Seeds. When they start to change color, add Ginger. Stir for 10-15 seconds.
2. Add Green Chillies and stir for 15-20 more seconds and then add all the spices/masalas and stir.
3. Add the chopped Potatoes and beans and mix nicely so that both the vegetables get coated with the spices evenly.
4. Cover the pan and let it cook.
5. Keep stirring every 3-4 minutes until both potatoes and beans are tender and well cooked.


 Serve Hot with Chappatis.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Crispy Bread Rolls !

I love Snow! Ever since I moved to TX after my wedding (which is more than a year now); I haven't seen any snow. I often tell my husband that I miss all the snow. (Although, I don't miss shoveling it down my car and driveway..LOL). Today it was very cold here and for the first time it snowed in Austin ..Yippeee! I love it!!
It wasn't as much as we get in East Coast; but it was enough to make me happy :)

Texas doesn't have any means to clear the slippery roads, highways etc hence even the little snow or ice creates panic for people here. My Husband's office issued notice and advised people to maintain care or work from home. As hubby dear was home, made these deep fried Potato filled Bread Rolls with Tea and enjoyed the weather.

These are quick to make and taste awesome! (Click here for Printable Recipe)

Ingredients:
 5 White Bread Slices
 2 Potatoes boiled and mashed
 1/2 Onion- finely chopped
 2 Green Chillies- Chopped
 1 Tbsp- Chopped Coriander leaves
 1 Tsp- Mango Powder
 1/2 Tsp- Garam Masala
 Salt and Red Chilli Powder- To taste
 Oil- For frying

Method
1. In the bowl of mashed potatoes, add chopped green chillies,onions, chopped coriander leaves and mix.
2. Add in all the spices (masala) and mix nicely. Taste for seasoning and adjust according to your taste.
3. To make the bread soft, dip each slice of bread in water and take out quickly and carefully.
4. Gently squeeze the bread between your palms and squeeze out water.
5. Take a heap of potato mixture in the center of each slice and roll it from the sides to cover the mixture. You can either make oblong rolls or bring all the four corners to the center and cover the mixture, like I did.

6. Let the rolls sit out on the counter for about 10 minutes. Meanwhile you can start heating up your oil for frying at medium low flame.
7. Once the oil is ready, deep fry the rolls until browned from both sides and look crispy.
8. Bread Rolls are ready! SERVE Hot with Green Chutney or Tomato Ketchup and Hot TEA!



Monday, February 22, 2010

Soothing and Refreshing Mocktail

 Weather yesterday was just beautiful. It was 74 Degrees..A perfect day to be outdoors! On a great afternoon like this, a cold delicious mocktail is definitely soothing and refreshing.

To make this;
-I added equal portions of cold
    1. Orange Juice
    2. V8 Tropical Bend
    3. Pineapple Juice
    4. Ginger Ale ( or you can use Sprite)

- Add 1/4 Tsp of Fresh Lemon Juice
- Add and mix 1/2 Tsp of Kala Namak (Black Salt)
- Decorate with slice of Fresh Orange

That's IT! A refreshing cold Mocktail is ready!!

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Friday Night - Homemade Veggie Pizza and Movie!

TGIF! I guess this is what everyone thinks by the time clock hits 3:00 in the afternoon and look forward to a fun friday night and a 2 day weekend ahead. We have been busy entertaining people for last few weekends and just wanted to take it easy this weekend. We usually eat out on a friday night and go for a late night movie show.But today, just didn't want to step out. But how could we let of our Friday night movie routine :).

I was thinking of making a pizza since last week and then I saw Mansi from Fun Food and Cafe   posting a Pizza Recipe. It looked absolutely great and made my urge to make a pizza stronger :) So today I made this Vegetarian Pizza and enjoyed our dinner with movie at home.

I almost followed her recipe. The only thing I changed is I didn't use any Whole Wheat as my husband wasn't really in a mood of a healthy pizza :). He wanted the taste of crust to be same as we get from restaurants. For the topping, I had put Green Pepper and tomatoes on the whole pizza, mushrooms on one half and Jalapeno Peppers on the other half ( I don't like mushrooms on pizza and my husband doesn't like Jalapenos)

So here is the recipe of delicious Vegetarian Pizza ( Veggies do make it healthy by the way :) )

Ingredients
Homemade Pizza Dough
1 (1/4 ounce) packet active yeast
1 tsp salt
1 tsp sugar
3/4 cup warm water

4 teaspoons olive oil
2 cups all-purpose flour

Pizza Toppings 

1 teaspoons olive oil
1/2 cup white mushrooms, thinly sliced

1 cup Green Bell pepper, thinly sliced
1 cup Tomatoes ( chopped, also remove the extra seeds from tomatoes)
1/2 Cup Jalapeno Peppers
1/4 cup tomato sauce ( I used Tomato and Basil)
1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
1/2 cup shredded smoked mozzarella or Pepperjack cheese
3/4 cup shredded mozzarella cheese


** Feel free to add other toppings of your choice

Method
1. In a medium bowl, dissolve yeast, salt, and sugar in warm water and let rest for 5 minutes.

2. Using a spoon, gently stir in 2 teaspoonsolive oil . Add flour and blend with a spoon just until the dough starts to form; then using your hands, transfer dough to a lightly floured surface. Knead lightly for 5-7 minutes. The finished dough should be smooth yet heavy and dense. Also when you tap on the flour lightly with a finger, it should spring back.
3.Place the dough in a medium, clean bowl coated with olive oil and rub some olive oil on top of the dough.

4.Cover tightly with plastic wrap or a kitchen towel and and let rise in a warm, warm area until doubled in size; about 1- 1 1/2 hours. ( I just kept in in my oven)
5. Punch the dough down to deflate the excess air in the dough. Knead for a 1-2 minutes and keep it back covered for another 30 min. The dough will rise again and will give a puffer crust.
6.Transfer dough to a lightly floured surface and roll out into a 12-inch disc. Transfer to a lightly greased pizza baking sheet. Brush with remaining 1 teaspoon olive oil.

7. Spread the tomato sauce evenly over the crust. Top with the grated smoked cheese. Arrange the vegetables on top. Top with the mozzarella.




For a pizza stone, bake at 500 degree for about 10 minutes, or until both the top and bottom of the crust is brown and the cheese is melted. For a baking sheet, bake at 450 for about 20 minutes, or until both the top and bottom of the crust is brown and the cheese is melted. 

 Serve HOT!

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Simple Butter Cookies- Crunchy and Chewy


 I got this Cookie press that I wanted to try and hence thought of baking some simple butter cookies that go very well with Tea, Coffee and simply a glass of milk. So I got together all the ingredients and started using my Cookie press..........and Hello! Nothing happens. I tried and tried and batter wasn't coming out of the Cookie press. I was disappointed.

My oven was heated so I started shaping up cookies with my hands which I normally do. So some of my cookies are plain and on some I made imprint using the cookie disc by my hands. I had baked half the cookies when my husband came home and when he saw my sad face; I told him about my useless effort in trying a Cookie Press. So finally, he got his way around it and we made some of the shaped cookies with rest of the batter.

These cookies are flavorable, crunchy and chewy. Perfect to go with glass of milk, tea or coffee.

Enjoy this simple recipe that makes about 2 dozen cookies. (Click here for printable version of recipe)

Ingredients:
Butter – 1 and 1/2 sticks
Sugar – 1 Cup
Vanilla essence - 1/2 tbsp
Whole Wheat Flour – 3/4th Cup
All Purpose Flour- 3/4th Cup
Salt – 1 pinch
Baking Soda- 1/2 Tsp

Method:
   1. Preheat oven to 350 Degrees F.
   2. Beat butter and sugar until fluffy.
   3. Add vanilla essence.
   4. Sift in flour,salt and baking soda. Mix well until mixture becomes a soft dough.
   5. Use a cookie press to press out desired cookie shape on greased baking tray. ( If your cookies press
       doesn't work like mine, feel free to use your hands)
   6. Bake in preheated oven for 8-10 minutes or until edges of the cookie turn brown.

   7. Store in an airtight container.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Masaledar (Spicy) Sabzi......of Turnips and Carrots!

 After the Valentine's day Cheesecake and extra calories; its time for some healthy food.
Both Turnip and Carrot are root vegetables. Turnip is a good source of Vitamin C and Carrots are rich in dietary fibre, antioxidants and minerals.

This dry vegetable (sabzi) of Turnip and Carrots is quick to make and is very delicious.

This recipe yields 4 servings. (Click here for printable version of this recipe)

Ingredients:
1. 4 large Turnips- 4
2. Long Carrots- 4
3. Green Chillies-2 (chopped)
4. Salt- To Taste
5. Red Chilli Powder- To Taste
6. Garam Masala- 1/2 Tsp
7. Coriander Powder-1 Tsp
8. Mango Powder (Amchur)- 1 Tsp
9. Turmeric Powder- 1 Tsp
10.Cumin Seeds- 1 Tsp
11. Oil- 2 Tbsp
12. Shredded Ginger- 1 Tsp
13. Coriander Leaves - For Garnishing.

Method:
1. Peel, Wash and Shred both Turnips and Carrots. Squeeze the excess water out of the shredded turnips. This takes out the sourness of the turnips.
2. In a pan, heat oil at medium flame. Add Cumin seeds and once it changes color, add Ginger and Green Chillies and stir for about 30 sec.
3. Then add in all the spices (masala) and mix for 15-20 seconds.
4. Add the sherred turnips and carrots and mix well so that it get coated nicely with the spices.
5. Let it cook on medium flame for 10-15 minutes or until its well cooked. (Keep stirring in between).
6. Garnish with fresh Coriander leaves.

Serve with Hot Rotis.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

For my Valentine -- NY Style Cheesecake

LOVE is in the Air!! Although people who are in love do not need a specific day to express or show their feelings; we still go an extra mile to do the same for our special one on this day which is called- Valentine's Day! 

My husband has always been a great planner. He always surprises me with all the lovely things he plans for me on all my and our special occasion. At midnight, he gave me plenty of beautiful flowers, card and an IPHONE!! Yayyyyyy....I so love it!! In the afternoon today he took me to an exotic french restaurant for lunch followed by a romantic movie.  What else do I need? Its a beautiful feeling that someone you love; loves you back more than you and does every thing to make you feel so special! :)

You must be thinking-- What did I do for him? Well....Apart from the gifts and cards that I gave him at midnight; I also baked this Heart Shaped NY Style Cheesecake for my sweet toothed husband. :)


We both love cheesecake and have been hogging onto this huge bundle of calories! But what to do; It's one of the most relished delicacy.

Here is the easy recipe for all of you. Bake this gorgeous cake at  home and enjoy with your loved ones.
(Click here for printable recipe)
Ingredients:
For Crust
15 Graham crackers ( Crush them to crumbs in a mixer)
1/4th tsp cinnamon
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup butter

For Filling:
4 packs of Cream Cheese ( At room temperature. I left mine out on the kitchen counter overnight)
3 Eggs
1 C Sour Cream
1 Cup Sugar
1/3 cup Sweetend Condensed Milk
1 tsp Pure Vanilla Extract
2 tbsp Corn Starch
1 tbsp Lemon Juice/Zest

Directions
1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F.  Grease a 10 inch springform pan or a 1-use aluminium foil pan. I used the aluminium foil pan as didn't find any heart shaped spring-form one in any store out here.
2. In a medium bowl, mix graham cracker crumbs with sugar, cinnamon and melted butter. Press onto bottom of pan using back side of a measuring cup or flat spatula.
3. Bake the crust in the preheated oven for 15 minutes and then let it cool on the counter top.
4. In a large bowl, mix cream cheese with sugar until smooth. (Do it with electric hand blender on the lowest speed or in a stand mixer with the pedal attachment at low speed)
5. Blend in sour cream, sweetend condensed milk and mix until incorporated. Add vanilla and lemon zest and blend it in.(Use wooden spoon or spatula to do this.)
5. Add the corn starch at this point and mix well using spatula. Do not overmix.
6. Then mix in the eggs one at a time, mixing just enough to incorporate. Stir after adding each egg and then add the other.
7. Pour filling into prepared crust.
8. Put the baking pan into the center rack of the oven. Right below that rack put another pan (of larger size) filled halfway with hot water. This creates moisture in the oven for even baking of the cheesecake and prevents cracking.
8. Bake the cheesecake for 45 to 55 minutes, until it is almost done - this can be hard to judge, but you're looking for the cake to hold together, but still have a lot of jiggle to it in the center. You don't want it to be completely firm at this stage. Turn the heat off, and let rest in the cooling oven for 2 hours. This lets the cake finish cooking and cool down gently enough so that it won't crack on the top.
9.After couple of hours, remove cheesecake from oven and lift carefully. Let it finish cooling on the counter, and then put in the fridge to chill for 5-6 hours at the minimum. Overnight is best.
10.Serve at room temperature.


Prep notes: While the actual making of this cheesecake is a minimal time commitment, it does need to bake for almost an hour, cool in the oven for couple of hours and chill overnight before it is served. Please plan accordingly and control your urge to dive into the cheesecake until next day.

Note-- My pan was 8.5 inches so I used the rest of the batter to make 4 small individual size cheesecakes.

As all of you are my favorite and regular blog readers; I would like to offer these individual size cheesecakes to you..

Here....THE PLAIN AND SIMPLE!!



Another one with Little bit of Shaved Chocolate on the top--


This one with Hot Melted Chocolate Drizzled on the top with some Truffles...YUMMY!!


ALRIGHT ALRIGHT!! I know u need more...HERE is a one special slice with cherries on top from the HEART SHAPED ONE! ...Hey!!!.Don't tell my husband, I shared this slice with you from his share of cake!! :)


HAPPY VALENTINE'S DAY !

Submitting the heart shaped Cheesecake to Priya's St. Valentines Event- 










And to Bake A Cake Event by Foodielovers
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